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Poster: reviewr Date: Mar 25, 2011 7:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 - The Firing (part II)

Light Into Ashes,
I greatly appreciate your work. After reading your post about Bob's and Pig's firing a couple of questions come to mind that I hope you can answer.
You write about the bands' interest in and borrowing from Native American music, and how this Native music was very structured. The GD's music at the time seems very unstructured to me. Can you give a spicfic example of a GD song that borrows from Native Americans?
You also write about Bob being "spaced" many times on stage. It is my understanding that we are talking about mid and late '68, and I'm equating "spaced" with being on hallucinogens. You give a Bob quote saying he stopped taking these kind of drugs after '66. Can you please explain?
Finally, you mention how Harvey Mandel was part of a '70 Matrix jam. Was he blowing up a surgical glove on his head at this point?
Just kidding about the last one.
Again, thanks for the contribution.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 26, 2011 12:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1968 - The Firing (part II)

Ah, sorry to cause confusion.
I don't know if the dead ever listened to native-american music, but they've often talked about the influence of Indian music on them. As in, Ravi Shankar-type Indian.

From Phil's book: "Mickey had been obsessed by the polyrhythmic virtuosity of North Indian classical music since hearing a drum record by Alla Rakha... At this point we began working with exotic time signatures: seven, ten, eleven beats to a bar."
The Dead's music at the time was not as unstructured as it sounds. As Phil hints, jams like the Seven, the Main Ten, the Eleven were drawn from their experiments with Indian time signatures. Phil has also said that the middle jam in Viola Lee is "what we called then 'shifting gears' - which is really a 20-minute accelerando, influenced by the North Indian music that we were listening to a lot of at that time."

Weir did say he stopped taking LSD in mid-'66. But, listening to his comments onstage sometimes, he certainly does give a spaced-out impression. Of course there were plenty of drugs around, and he was in a group that liked to dose each other. So I would just interpret it that he did not readily take as much as some of the others in the band, but was not quite as abstinent as he makes it sound.